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tv   American History TV  CSPAN  November 7, 2015 9:30am-9:51am EST

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ood. sunday night at 11:00, a book discussion with the former first lady of massachusetts, ann romney on her book about her journey with multiple sclerosis. get the complete schedule at weekend, american history tv is featuring sacramento, california. -- is now aand state historic park. as california's governor, u.s. senator, and president of the central pacific railroad. he established stanford university in memory of his son who died of typhoid. home -- hosted by our comcast cable partners, c-span's city tours staff recently visited sites showcasing the city's history. evacuation.
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more than 100,000 men, women, and children, all of japanese ancestry, removed from their homes and the pacific coast states to wartime communities established in out-of-the-way places. they're either accu wish and imply individualist loyalty but was ordered to reduce a military hazard at a time when danger of invasion was great. two thirds of the evacuees are american citizens by right of birth. the others are there japanese born parents and grandparents. they are not under suspicion, not prisoners, not in turnees. they are merely displaced people. the unwanted casualties of war. the time -- spring and summer of 1942. replace -- 10 different relocation centers in unsettled parts of california, arizona, utah, idaho, wyoming, colorado, and arkansas. >> i was born in a small town
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south of sacramento called floren. my dad had a farm. we raised grapes and strawberries. i was there until age 5, when world war ii started with the bombing of pearl harbor. sunday, my dad, who had been home, listening to the radio, heard about the bombing. first into the methodist church where my mother was playing the ya know, and interrupted the service, announcing that japan had bombed pearl harbor. all of a sudden, in that one instant, our lives changed. we did not know what was going to happen to us. at first, there was not that sentiment in the newspapers. things were quiet. theafter a while,
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newspapers started publishing articles about the perils of having the japanese on the west coast. neighbors, who had been friendly in the past, a little afraid. so we felt the sting of prejudice before we were sent to what euphemistically is called "internment camps." governmenticial documents called them "concentration camps." pearl harbor occurred the summer seventh, 1941 -- occurred december 7, 1941. 1942, the people of the sacramento area were being shipped out did i remember the day we had to leave. it was may 30, 1942.
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it was dark when we got up. we had to be at the railroad station in elk grove by a certain time. i remember, i was five years old, going into the garden and winding my grandmother, who was in her 60's, looking at her garden and crying, saying in japanese that she did not think to get back going here. i remember taking her hand and telling her, "don't cry, will be back. i know you will be back here." at that point, we did not know where we were going. we only knew we had to pack up carry inwhat we could a suitcase. we were told to bring sheets, towels, personal items, clothes. we did not know how long we were going to go. we did not know where we would be sent. we just knew we had to leave our
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farm. most of us were sent to what they called "assembly centers." have them all over the united states. many of them were fair grounds for race tracks. that is why you hear stories of people being housed in animal barns and horse stalls. we were lucky. we got there late. so we were not put in one of the animal buildings. we had temporary quarters, which was a barrack built directly on asphalt. i remember fresno was hot. it was over 100. asphaltat on the bed, was soft and the deadwood sink. i remember getting -- and the bed would sink. i remember getting tar in my
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hair. and my hair had to be cut. we were there until may until october when the real camp was ready and we were sent to arkansas. we sat on a train. the government did not want people in the public to know we were being moved. so soldiers would come through the train and order us to close the window shades as we approached any town. across thed be sent nation that way. we did not know where we were going. we had no idea of how long we what thethere and living conditions would be like. it was another camp. were built in the order of a military facility. militaryused were
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terms. so we ate at the mess hall. the restrooms were called latr ines. a men's side and ladies side. each side had 16 toilets. there were no stalls. open toilets, it in a row, back-to-back. i remember my grandmother telling me "don't sit with youre out" because it was very impolite. if you did, you could touch the person next to you. that is how close they were. the whole experience was humiliating. people were uprooted. we were chased out of our homes. there were so much uncertainty and fear. very wise. there were some people who belong to the farmers association who turned their farms over to them, but my dad
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sound a man, bob fletcher, who said he would take care of our be the crop, pay the mortgage, and pay our taxes. three farms, and we did not lose our farm. that did not have been -- that did not happen for too many people. areaverybody in the florin lost their property. if you did not lose your property, it was a neighbor or someone who was a friend that helped you. 85% lost their property. the japanese-american archival collection is arguably one of the best in the world. it may not be the largest, but what makes it unique is the depth and breadth of the collection. it began in 1944 with the fnation of education material
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rom mary sukamoto. she was a leader in the community as an educator and civil rights activist. educationd her material here. it tells the story from the vantage point of the evacuees, the government -- the war relocation authority -- from the neighbors. signedresident roosevelt executive order 9066, which legalized the incarceration of people of japanese descent in the military zone -- which is the entire west coast. oregon, california, and western arizona. things moved quickly. japanese-americans were sent to assembly centers. this illustrates how the japanese-americans were only what they could carry. here we have these two young girls, who they could carry their suitcases.
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reiko and her sister were from hollywood and ended up in heart mountain, wyoming. they did not know there was supposed to bring warm clothing for cold weather. meant you could carry what you could bring, you can see these japanese-americans evacuating from the elk grove train station, but you could see the mandate -- of the mother could only carry her child and perhaps a diaper bag. she was not able to carry anything other than her child. we see here a document from a manager of the homeowner assembly center. a race track in southern california. numbervacuation release 18. in this document, he was talking about what families of mixed marriages should expect. if they are referring too many times caucasian women were married to men of japanese dissent -- descent.
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they were not forced to go to the incarceration centers. they were faced with the choice of whether they stayed out of the incarceration center or if they would stay with their husbands and families. in most cases, and a star as i know in all cases, 80 caucasian wife and mother's decided to go with their families into the incarceration centers. in early 1943, all of the internees were commanded to complete a questionnaire. this is called the "statement of the united states citizens of , onlyse ancestry," referred to as the loyalty questionnaire. question 27 asked "are you willing to serve in the armed forces of the united states on combat duty, whenever ordered/" will you 20 yet asked " swear unqualified allegiance to the united states of america and
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faithfully defend the united states from any or all attack by foreign or domestic forces?' those who answered no to both questions were called no-no boys and were put into the tule lake camp. tohristmas card was sent president franklin d roosevelt and mrs. eleanor roosevelt. this is the christmas card. as we look at how she starts the christmas card, she says "dear president and mrs. roosevelt, christmases ago, we were shocked and deeply hurt to know it was japan who started the war and left the record of shame for history. we were one of the 120 thousand americans of japanese ancestry living on the west coast. frightened and angry, we were eager to do our part to protect these press -- to protect the
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precious chores of our america. unbelievably, things developed, and by may, we left our beautiful great binary and left friends to live in a camp. in january, 1945, eleanor roosevelt. she says "dear mr. and mrs. suk letter withd your much interest and i appreciate your writing. i am glad all is going well. with best wishes, i am sincerely eleanor roosevelt." we are looking at some of the arts and crafts made in the relocation centers. working in arts and crafts and other activities were key to keeping the sanity of the internees. tule lake was on a dried sea bed. so there were shells they could use to make various corsages and works of art.
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another aspect of the story told by these artifacts is that they worked with whatever they could find as well. nothing went away. beautiful doll here, but if you inspect it closely, you can see her hands are made of toilet paper wrapped around wire. made fromnd face stockings and nylons. her hair made from sewing thread. o made from scraps of fabric. in this painting, this is called sumi-i, a form of watercolor. what is interesting about this painting is you see the image of the watchtower. during the internment period, they were not allowed to take photos and re-create images of the watchtowers. just as interesting, we see on the back, it was made from a purex box.
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we look at photographs that tell the story of the military service of japanese-americans. once it was determined that they could serve in the army, they were the 442nd regimental combat battalion. it was segregated and consisted only of japanese-americans. here we see the picture of three young men from the sacramento area. this is the picture they took before they were shipped out. all three of them were killed in action. they die for their country while their families were incarcerated. here we have one of our most rare items in the collection. bare loosely transitive means "1000 knots." threads aree red knots tied by a loved one or family member for this vest. this dates back to samurai
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times. theoretically, all of these knots would deflect the thrust of a samurai sword. family members created obi, or a belt. but this one was a vest. he decided to keep it. most other recipients of these through them away. they did it because you can see, it is very japanese-looking. here is japanese couple of -- calligraphy. on the back, we have this lovely painted tiger and more calligraphy. relates to the reparation and redress of the japanese-americans incarcerated during world war ii. during the carter administration, a commission on the wartime relocation and internment of civilians was warmth. as a result of their investigation, they determined
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the japanese-americans' constitutional rights were denied and they deserved an apology. we hear we have a photo of president reagan. bill,signing h.r.-442 where he is authorizing and legalizing the apology and redress to the japanese-americans survivors. here, we see the actual apology letter from george h in it, he says "a monetary sum and words alone cannot restore lost tears or even race painful memories." calling forg a law restitution and offering a sincere apology, your fellow americans have, in a really real sense, renewed it their traditional commitment to the ideals of freedom, equality, and justice."
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here we have a letter from president clinton in 1990 six. he also sent a letter to surviving internees. this is the first letter where he actually said "we are sorry." " here we say today, on the half of your fellow americans, i offer our severe apology for the actions that unfairly deny japanese-americans and their families fundamental liberties ii."g world war it was determined by the commission in 1983 that japanese-americans lost between 800 million and $10 million and $2 billion in $1993 and they were never compensated for that. , asy mother and father american citizens, always believed in this country. it was, i think, a vindication
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that we were innocent. we got an apology. and some monetary enumeration. it makes it less likely that it will happen again. but does not guarantee it. ,hat is why this collection that is why books and materials like what my mother wrote, are important. so that the next generation understands that unless you protect the constitution for everyone, everybody is still in jeopardy. throughout the weekend, american history tv is featuring sacramento, california. our cities to were staff recently traveled there to learn about its history. learn more about sacramento and other stops on our tour at you are watching american
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history tv. all weekend on c-span 3. c-span has your coverage of the road to the white house 2016, where you will find the candidates, the speeches, the debates, and your questions. this year, we are taking our road to the white house coverage into classrooms with our student camp contest, giving students the opportunity to discuss what important issues they want to hear from the most from candidates. follow c-span student camp contest and road to the white house coverage on tv, radio, and online at rainville discusses african-american cemeteries. recalls her experiences finding and documenting cemeteries that are often


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